House

Gohmert says Jan. 6 mob attack on Capitol not an ‘armed insurrection’

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), a staunch ally of former President Trump, argued Friday there was no evidence that the Jan. 6 mob attack at the Capitol was an “armed insurrection,” despite multiple rioters being charged with unlawful possession of firearms and other weapons.

Gohmert made the comment in remarks from the House floor after arguing that the FBI was “unfairly” targeting supporters of the former president and that the Justice Department under President Biden is “criminalizing political protests, but only political protests by Republicans or conservatives.” 

The GOP lawmaker mentioned the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. While initial reports suggested that Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, an autopsy later revealed that he suffered two strokes while attempting to push back the mob and after being sprayed with a chemical irritant.

Gohmert then argued that the other deaths that day were not a direct result of violence at the Capitol, claiming, “There’s no evidence … that this was an armed insurrection.”

“Armed meaning with firearms,” Gohmert specified. “There were no firearms.”

“Not one person has been charged with bringing a firearm to the Capitol … no one brought a gun into this building.”

Gohmert’s comments come despite the fact that multiple people charged in connection to the Jan. 6 attack have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon.

According to NPR’s database of charges, 15 people were allegedly armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon while at the Capitol. 

Eight other people who have been charged with civil disorder or destruction of property also allegedly had weapons in their possession during the mob attack, NPR reported. 

 The Hill has reached out to Gohmert’s office for comment.

The remarks are among the latest by Republican lawmakers this week seeking to downplay the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, when multiple people died and dozens of officers were injured while responding to the rioting.

During a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) asked former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen if the Justice Department had confiscated any firearms from Capitol rioters facing charges. 

Law enforcement officials had previously noted that they found firearms and several other weapons in rioters’ possession on Jan. 6, including baseball bats, a wooden club, a spear, bear spray, knives and a stun gun.

Other Republican lawmakers during the same hearing Wednesday attempted to make other claims questioning the threat level members of Congress faced that day, with Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) claiming that TV footage from Jan. 6 made it appear as though it was “a normal tourist visit.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in her weekly press conference Thursday condemned the Republicans’ remarks, arguing that the comments were “beyond denial” and “fell into a range of sick.” 

“I don’t know any normal day around here when people are threatening to hang the vice president of the United States or shoot the Speaker … or disrupt and injure so many police officers,” Pelosi said, referring to threats some rioters directed on Jan. 6 toward former Vice President Pence and herself for not backing Trump’s efforts to overturn 2020 election results. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Thursday brushed away questions from reporters on the remarks from his GOP colleagues, saying, “What happened on the 6th was atrocious.” 

“When I look at the rioters that came in, those people should be held accountable to the rule of law, and that’s exactly what’s happening,” he added.

Tags Capitol insurrection Capitol riot Capitol riot charges Congress Donald Trump Firearm Firearms House Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Louie Gohmert Mike Pence Nancy Pelosi Paul Gosar
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